Producing water from thin air: the rover challenge

skoptsytruculentAI and Robotics

Nov 15, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)


Producing water from thin air: the rover challenge

A robot which takes up humidity from the air and soil and condenses it into

water presented at EIMA. The Rover Water, totally autonomous and controlled

via satellite, was conceived for the Mediterr
anean islands with a scarcity

of water resources

A tracked robot with an electric motor, sensors and a satellite control system.
Presenting the
Rover Water
, a revolutionary irrigation machine capable not
only of learning on its own the water needs of each

plant and irrigating it at the
ideal time but also, amazingly enough, of producing its own water supply from
thin air. Right now, the machine is still on the drawing boards and scheduled
for development beginning in 2009 by the UNACOMA (Confindustria)
ovation Laboratory and the Caleidos Group, a Ferrara mecatronic design
and engineering company. The
Rover Water

concept is based on
the study of biological methods to apply to the design of engineering systems.
In Bologna this morning, during
an EIMA conference on mechanization in
Mediterranean dry zones, it was explained that the track of the machine will
feature the same structure as the skin of the Thorny Devil, an Australian lizard
with a desert habitat capable of taking up the scant humidi
ty in the soil and
condensing it into drops. Panels fitted to the “torso” of the robot will made of
materials which replicate the tail of a Namibian beetle that lives in the Namib
Desert that survives by using its bumpy shell to draw, through a highly
isticated aspiration system, drinking water from periodic fog
laden winds.
Marco Migliari, on the Industrial Design staff of the Milan Polytechnic,
reported, “The
Rover Water

was conceived for a load capacity of thirty liters of
water, a quantity sufficien
t for selective irrigation and in line with the needs
typical of a small operation on the Mediterranean islands.” In fact, the robot
will be guided by satellite providing a reading of the terrain and the state of
health of each plant. The machines fits int
o a line of mechanization research for
the Mediterranean islands coordinated by Felice Pipitone, on the Agrarian
Mechanics faculty of the University of Palermo and comes as the most
technologically advanced answer to the water emergency experienced by
ers specializing in quality horticultural production. “The reduction of
rainfall and climatic change are creating more and more of an emergency and
require a search for solutions which are ingenious and equally innovative,” said
Domenico Pumo, a water spec
ialist at the University of Palermo.

Bologna, November 11, 2008